Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY JULY 11, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Jesus, saying, ‘Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to Him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But the lawyer wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”

“Then Jesus answered and said; ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down the road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.’

“On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave it to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’  And the lawyer said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” Luke 10.25-37

Something To Consider:
Lawyers were Old Testament scholars who were religiously schooled in the Old Testament law. They lived, breathed, and were consumed with attempting to strictly adhere to the letter of the law. Jesus was seen by the religious leaders as a theological threat to the rules and regulations of the Jewish religion. And so, this was another attempt to entrap Jesus into speaking against the law, but it greatly backfired!

Jesus appeared to have great respect for the Old Testament Scriptures. He was constantly quoting from them. At that time, the Old Testament alone was the Word of God. It was all that the early disciples had to instruct them in righteous living. It was all the early church had to guide and direct their lives. And as Jesus declared in Matthew 5.17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets [Old Testament], I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

And yet, many religious groups today, attempt to dismiss the Old Testament; unless their quoting from it promotes their pre-conceived traditional agendas. But, according to Paul in 2 Timothy 3.16; “All Scripture [which includes the Old Testament Scripture] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness [or righteous living].” How else can we have the right answers to life’s questions?

Something Else To Consider:
In our Scripture to consider, the lawyer appeared to have had all the right answers. And yet, his conscience convinced him to ask the question, “And who is my neighbor?” This question threw open the door of opportunity for Jesus to share a very telling story about a certain Good Samaritan.

We have all known individuals who we could easily insert their names next to each character from the story Jesus told. We may even be able, due to our past and or present, to place our names beside the thieves, the priest, the Levite, and hopefully, now, beside the Good Samaritan!

Therefore, it is not as important what we have been in the past, but much more important what we are in the present, and what we remain to be in the future with God’s help and divine support. Have we allowed the Old and New Testament Scriptures to properly and biblically equip us for the work of the ministry here on earth and in the future millennial kingdom? And if not, today is a very good day to begin or to start over!

Something More To Consider:
The truth of the story lesson is that a person, a church, a denomination, or even an entire nation, can think they have all the right answers relating to religion, but totally miss the mark by their lack of showing mercy. True religion according to Jesus and this scholarly, yet possibly convicted lawyer, was the willingness to reach out beyond the boundaries and scope of one’s own group or comfort zone.

True religion is being willing to reach out in mercy to whoever is in need as did the Good Samaritan. And so, Jesus ended His lesson of a lifetime by saying to all of us, “Go and do likewise.” But, the question remains, are we willing to go? Are we willing to go to a foreign land? Are we willing to stay and to go around the corner to visit a next-door neighbor? Are we even willing to go to the privacy of our prayer closets and pray for God to prepare us to go or to stay?

According to James 1.27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this; to visit [to provide or care for] orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” May I ask, are we doing these three basic commands of Scripture? Are we experiencing pure and undefiled religion by our visiting or providing care for both widows and orphans? That is a very straight forward question! Are the people we are supporting by the giving of financial donations visiting or providing care for widows and orphans?

A Few Final Words:
If we are not helping with the care of both widows and orphans personally, then we should be praying for divine direction to that end. I would suggest you look up stgministries.com in Thailand. That would be an excellent place to start. This group ministers to orphans by providing a safe home atmosphere, and by teaching the Word of God. They also have outreach ministry to local villages and communities, as well as an ongoing teaching and biblical instructing and training outreaches to local pastors and church leaders in the region.

Are we keeping ourselves unspotted from the world? Paul wrote in Romans 12.2, “And do not be conformed, but transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In other words, if we allow the Word of God to renew our minds on a daily basis, then when the end times tribulation come, and they are coming, we will have all the right biblical answers.

Our Father in heaven, teach us to live according to the truth of all of the Word of God including all Jesus taught us to observe. In Him Always, Amen!

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